In 1986, in the United States the number of cases of measles increased to 6,273.1,2 This can be viewed with alarm when compared with the average of about 2,000 cases per year thus far in this decade. Or, it can be declared a victory when compared with the number of cases of measles in the era prior to the advent of measles vaccine. During this period, almost every child got measles—approximately 4 million cases a year. In those days, surveillance was less complete and only about½ million cases were actually reported annually (Figure). As part of the program to eradicate measles, each suspected case is now investigated; therefore, the number reported at the present time is probably accurate.

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